Driving While Texting

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.


From Slate, an argument for outlawing driving with even a powered up cell phone. Sound draconian to you? Then I guess you haven’t yet had the privilege of a near death experience at the hands of some moron texting at 65 miles per hour. I have.

First there was last year’s train crash near Los Angeles, with 25 dead and 130 injured. In three hours of work before the crash, the engineer received 28 text messages and sent 29 more. He sent his last message 22 seconds before impact, just after passing a signal that would have alerted him to the disaster ahead.

Now comes the Boston crash, in which one trolley went through a red light and rear-ended another…Officials say the operator of the second trolley “was text-messaging his girlfriend” and “was looking down at his phone and could not apply the brakes quickly enough when he looked up and saw the trolley in front of him.”

If texting can cause crashes on train tracks, which prevent lateral drift, think how much more dangerous it is to text while driving a car.

Duh.

I’d go so far as to argue that the police check the text and call logs of every cell phone at every accident site and charge accordingly.

DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate